Electrical and Lighting for Churches, Auditoriums, Halls and Large Meeting Rooms.

If you are embarking on a new building project, take some time to really think about how the electrical and lighting will work for you. It’s best to get it right now even if it costs a fraction more. Below are some of my thoughts to help get you started.

Use mostly double power outlets at least one on each section of wall between doors so that you never have to run cables across walkways which would end up being a trip hazzard.Have plenty of circuits, and put in dedicated single outlets for security systems and data racks. Most racks will use internal power rails so you should only ever need a single outlet. You could consider using a captured outlet to reduce the possibility of the cable falling out.

Keep stage power outlets on the same circuit as your sound system. Anything that plugs into your sound system, like keyboards and guitar amps should be on the same circuit or at least the same phase where possible. Also make sure that all the power used for sound has a good solid earth. (Aside from being important for safety, it will also reduce noise and buzz.

General lighting switches should accisible to A/V operators so that they can operate them during an event or church service. You can install “Two way switching if required. You may also want to consider having multiple levels of light. Rather than switching left right and centre, consider having every 2nd fitting on alternate switching so you can reduce the lighting down to half. Avoid having lights too close to projection screens, or have them switched separately.

Also consider production type lighting. These systems will give a lot more control over the placement and intensity of light across your stage area. Having lighting bars installed will give you a lot of flexibility with your new system and will allow you to hire in lights for special events. You will need a rack somewhare big enough for the dimmer. You will also need to think about DMX cables – make sure you have DMX cables from each lighting bar, the console and the stage back to where the dimmer will be.

There are some areas in foyers and small meeting rooms that may be suitable for LCD Screens or TV’s for running a video feedor rolling advertising. Consider a few single power points mounted up quite high in these areas.

If you have a large outside area, you may also want to install an external waterproof power outlet which could be useful for a jumping castle, or portable PA for an outdoor BBQ. Make sure it is on a dedicated circuit.

Churches may also want to consider my comments about cabling for Offices and Small meeting rooms.
I also have information on Audio Visual, Security and Data cabling.

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